Raising Children on Technology

I am a huge fan of technology. Interactive games, the ability to build something from scratch on Scratch, entertainment on planes are all different forms of education.

Too many times I see parents using technology as a distraction to make their lives easier too often. Too many parents walking with their kids or pushing a stroller on the phone the entire time. Zero interaction with their kid. It kills me.

I was at a restaurant the other night where there were 3 adults and one child having dinner. The kid who was about 2ish was on one of the parents laps while the parent held a phone in front of the kids face to watch something. What happened to good old crayons and paper? There is something to be said for learning how to entertain yourself and your imagination through drawing. It is good for eye-hand coordination. It also teaches the kids how to be out for a meal with people. No doubt it can be a painful experience for the parents but how else do the kids learn?

I remember those days. It was never a relaxing meal but overtime the kids learned how to go out and sit through a meal entertaining themselves and engaging with the people at the table. The same goes for sitting at family meals at home. You eat what you get, you ask to be excused and you involve yourself in the conversation even at a young age.

I have seen kids obsessed with the iPad in the stroller, at the grocery store in the cart, in the car, on the plane and everywhere in between. Sure there is a time and place for any of this just like there is a time and place for binge watching TV.

Kids still need to be taught how to learn how to be by themselves in their own space, in their own head, use their hands, play in the park, play sports and all the other activities that are teachable moments.

Technology is great but there is a time and place for everything for children as well as adults.

Comments (Archived):

  1. pointsnfigures

    Yes, a thousand times yes. But boy am I glad I raised my kids when there was no interactive tech like there is today. I honestly don’t know what I would do to combat it once they hit a certain age.

    1. LE

      In the same way as global warming is a problem it’s still a problem even if you don’t have kids of the ‘age’. Reason is there is this entire generation whose brain is being impacted by poor choices in how they spend their time and the ‘addiction’ of these devices. This is a really big problem I can see it with my step kids who are in high school (per my other comment my own kids are a different age bracket).The real time of social media also makes it quite difficult for a child to not be involved in the back and forth with their friends. This is really similar in a way to things like drugs and drinking in order to fit in and be accepted and part of what is going on the way I see it. Only it’s worse because many parents see it as harmless and/or don’t recognize the impact (as a group).

  2. AMT Editorial Staff

    It’s a pacifier. One parent book author said something to the effect that a pacifier for kids over the age of 18 months — and used during the day — is a muzzle. The iPad, iPhone etc., are muzzles. They silence the kid. For older kids, we firmly believe in the power of boredom. Kid says, “mom, I’m bored.” We think, hooray. Success.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Ha. #boredom

  3. LE

    This is all 100% correct what you are saying. The only thing I can add is that it’s actually worse than you even think and know with teenagers. I know this because even though I have kids that are roughly your children’s age I also have much younger stepkids. The amount of time they spend watching stupid things on their cell phones or with snapchap/instagram would blow your mind.As someone who grew up with boredom and very limited time that was allowed to watch TV I can attest to how that ended up being good and caused me to do things that were more productive to occupy my time. And those things led to other things which led to what I am doing today to earn a living and allowed me to get into a good college.Here is an angle that I am sure most people have not thought of. You know what has contributed to this? Grade inflation. If kids get good grades in school parents are less likely to think there is an issue or to restrict them. Add to that the fact that parents aren’t always aware of what is even on the screen (because it’s a cell phone) and the cell phone is small you have a much different situation than back in our day when if you even had a tv on in your room (I didn’t) it made noise and super obvious that you were watching something stupid.So again let me repeat this is worse than you even are seeing it really is.

  4. Ella Dyer

    Again, I agree with you; I love all children and appreciate the dining experience in France more than anywhere else. We see young children sitting at tables (with white table clothes; even for lunch) eating a meal similar to their parents (no nuggets) and not a piece of technology in site. They young children learn how to converse with adults and use proper table manners too. Air France forward my luggage full time 🙂